Monday, April 30, 2012

Responsibility to Pretend

Unable or unwilling to justify overthrowing Khadaffi's regime in Libya based on our national interests but without international approval, the Obama administration essentially tricked the international community into providing something close enough to be twisted into a UN authorization and dressed it up as "responsibility to protect" (R2P). Oh, and the president didn't bother to get Congressional approval.

Sadly for this narrative of high-minded foreign affairs, Syria exploded in protest and then revolt. As opposed to the theoretical Libyan mass murder we intervened to stop, a Syrian massacre has been going on at higher and higher levels for over a year as the Assad regime demonstrates a brutality that should horrify all of us.

You'd think the president would be eager to haul out his shiny new R2P Doctrine. But no. When the thugs are out there killing, our president reacts--a year later--by establishing the Atrocities Prevention Board.

Really. A board. In what reality-based community does a thug regime recoil in fear from a board?

I'm sure in a couple years they'll have a lovely report out on exactly how many Syrians were killed, maimed, and imprisoned over the prior three years. Call this an exercise in Responsibility to Pretend. But hey, while the board studies the problem, our president gets more of that space from foreign problems that he so desperately wants to delay beyond the Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2012.

In reality, we already have a body that prevents atrocities in the Middle East. We call it CENTCOM.